As theatre and drama of the Romantic Period undergo a critical reassessment among scholars internationally, the contributions of women as playwrights, actresses, and managers are also being revalued. This volume, which brings together leading British, North American, and Italian critics, is a crucial step towards reclaiming the importance of women's dramatic and theatrical activities during the period. Writing for the theatre implied assuming a public role, a hazardous undertaking for women who, especially after the French Revolution, were assigned to the private, primarily domestic, sphere. As the contributors examine the covert strategies women used to become full participants in the public theatre, they shed light on the issue of women's agency, expressed both through the writing of highly politicized or ethicized drama, as in the case of Elizabeth Inchbald or Joanna Baillie, and through women's professional practice as theatre managers and stage producers, as in the case of Elizabeth Vestris and Jane Scott. Among the topics considered are women's history plays, domesticity, ethics and sexuality in women's closet drama, the politics of drama and performance, and the role of women as managers and producers. Specialists in performance studies, Romantic Period drama, and women's writing will find the essays both challenging and inspiring.

chapter |17 pages


ByLilla Maria Crisafulli, Keir Elam

part I|81 pages

Historical Drama and Romantic Historiography

part II|93 pages

Dramaturgical and Cultural Processes

part III|66 pages

Women Staging, Women Staged